11/13 Powell’s WWE Raw Live TV Review: Brock Lesnar returns, The Shield vs. Sheamus, Cesaro, and Miz, Bayley vs. Mickie James vs. Dana Brooke for a spot on Team Raw, the final push for Survivor Series

By Jason Powell

WWE Raw on the USA Network
Live from Atlanta, Georgia at Philips Arena

Raw opened with a recap of the “under siege” attack by Smackdown on the Raw crew, as well as Kane attacking Daniel Bryan in a backstage segment… The broadcast team was Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Booker T checked in…

Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon made her entrance to boos. She said she has to make tough decisions in her role that fans who live everyday lives can’t understand. She spoke about needing strong leadership. Stephanie introduced Kurt Angle, who received the usual strong ovation and a “you suck” singalong from the fans.

Raw GM Angle joined Stephanie in the ring. Angle assumed she was upset by New Day showing up last week. She said she wasn’t upset, but then she questioned how New Day got in the building. Angle said he didn’t know. She asked if there was a raid. Angle said he had the Raw crew at ringside because he was prepared. She questioned again if there was a raid or if Shane McMahon pulled one over on him again.

Stephanie said Angle led the Raw team out to face nothing. She said she was being a little hard on him. She brought up Angle naming Jason Jordan as the fifth member of Team Raw. Fans booed. She took issue with Angle naming his son as a member of the team. “He’s very talented,” Angle said when she pressed for what he brings to the table.

Stephanie brought up John Cena being the fifth member of Team Smackdown. She said Cena was on Raw the last time she saw him, then needled Angle about Smackdown having Cena while he put his son in the match. Steph asked if the fans still believe in Angle. They cheered. She asked him what the first thing he’s going to do at Survivor Series will be. Angle said he’s going to break her brother’s ankle. Angle said he will start the match and if Shane has any balls then he will too.

Stephanie said Angle is too soft and nice and said she didn’t even think Angle could break anyone’s ankle. Stephanie said she doesn’t want her brother’s ankle broken, she wants his head on a platter. She said Angle didn’t convince her and left her no other choice. “Kurt Angle…”

The Shield entrance music interrupted Steph before she could fire Angle. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose appeared in their usual spot in the crowd, then Roman Reigns showed up behind them a few seconds later for dramatic effect. Cole hyped their match against Sheamus, Cesaro, and The Miz.

Reigns, Ambrose, and Rollins entered the ring. Ambrose said he heard Stephanie say she was looking for a leader. Ambrose endorsed Angle and said he’s still got it, which led to the crowd chanting the same thing. Stephanie busted the balls of Ambrose and Rollins for losing the Raw Tag Titles and blamed Angle for it. She said they weren’t even competing at Survivor Series and they let New Day make them look like fools “just like Kurt Angle.”

[Q2] Steph turned her attention to Reigns. “And you, where the hell have you even been?” Reigns returned the favor by asking her where the hell she’d been. Reigns recalled Triple H putting her through a table at WrestleMania. Reigns told Stephanie that they don’t do what she tells them to do. “We do what we want to do,” Reigns said. Reigns said they want to fight New Day. Reigns said that if New Day has any balls and they accept then they will be booked at Survivor Series. Reigns said Angle would lead Team Raw to victory, “and we’re going to whip New Day’s ass and destroy them”…

The broadcast team hyped the six-man tag match, Brock Lesnar appearing, and the women’s Triple Threat for a spot on Team Raw at Survivor Series… [C]

Powell’s POV: A strong opening segment. Stephanie’s act felt fresher than it did a week ago thanks in part to Reigns standing up to her more than most WWE personalities are allowed to. She had good logic for nearly firing Angle, though it was odd that it seemed to be forgotten once The Shield trio showed up and endorsed him. It will be interesting to see if Jordan sticks as the fifth member of Team Raw or if they replace him tonight. And if they don’t replace him, then it will be interesting to see what his involvement is on Sunday. I could see them trying to give him a big boost as a babyface or having him turn heel and cost Team Raw the match.

Team Raw members Alicia Fox, Asuka, Sasha Banks, and Nia Jax were at ringside. Ring entrances for the women’s Triple Threat took place…

1. Mickie James vs. Bayley vs. Dana Brooke for a spot on Team Raw at Survivor Series. Brooke received no reaction from the crowd during the entrances. Cole spoke about Mickie’s positive history at Survivor Series. Graves said she is the most qualified option. Bayley was knocked to ringside heading into an early break. [C]

[Q3] Brooke rolled to ringside. Asuka tried to help her up, but Brooke punched Asuka. Asuka chased her into the ring and then to ringside where she caught her with a spinning kick. In the irng, James rolled up Bayley for a two count. Bayley came back with a backslide for a two of her own. James went for her finisher, but Bayley countered into her finisher and scored the pin. After the match, Team Raw posed in the ring together…

Bayley defeated Mickie James and Dana Brooke in 7:35.

Powell’s POV: There was a lot of buzz last week about a big name returning and taking the final spot on Team Raw (I’ll avoid the spoiler here just in case she pops up). The night is young, but there were no signs of friction between team captain Fox and Bayley.

The broadcast team spoke at their desk about Survivor Series and hyped the usual 30-day free subscription for cheaters who create fake email addresses, er, new subscribers. They also hyped the WWE 24 documentary on Goldberg that will air after Raw on WWE Network. Cole hyped Miz TV with Sheamus and Cesaro for later in the show…

WWE Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore and Drew Gulak were shown walking backstage. Gulak had a “no chants” homemade sign… [C] A Smackdown ad hyped Natalya vs. Charlotte for the Smackdown Women’s Championship, and New Day vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn…

Enzo Amore and Drew Gulak made their entrance for a tag match. Cole announced Enzo vs. Kalisto for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship would take place on the (needlessly long) two-hour Kickoff Show. Enzo did his usual mic work. “I’m going great, thank you for asking,” Gulak replied to Enzo’s usual line. Gulak continued to chime in after Enzo’s lines. Enzo gave Gulak a chance to talk, but Kalisto’s music interrupted him…

2. Enzo Amore and Drew Gulak vs. Kalisto and Akira Tozawa. The babyface duo were in offensive control heading into a break a minute into the match.

[Q4] [C] Tozawa performed a great suicide dive on Enzo, then Kalisto performed a springboard flip dive onto Gulak on the floor. A short time later, Gulak pulled Enzo out of the way before Tozawa could perform his top rope finisher. Enzo pulled Tozawa into the corner, which ended up knocking Kalisto off the apron. Enzo hit the Jawdonzo on Tozawa for the win…

Enzo Amore and Drew Gulak beat Kalisto and Akira Tozawa in 7:40.

A shot aired of The Miz, Bo Dallas, and Curtis Axel walking backstage while Graves hyped Miz TV for after the break… A WrestleMania ad aired for tickets going on sale this week… [C] A recap of Stephanie McMahon’s latest ball busting of Kurt Angle aired…

Powell’s POV: The one negative of the opening segment was Angle standing there and taking it from Stephanie again. It was bad enough with retired wrestler Mick Foley had to do it, but Angle is leading the Raw team on Sunday. Can’t one of these former WWE stars be portrayed as still having their balls rather than handing them over to Stephanie?

[Q5] Backstage, Angle addressed Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Braun Strowman, and Jason Jordan. Angle booked Balor and Joe against Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson to see if they could get along. Angle booked Jordan in a match against Bray Wyatt with the goal of proving Stephanie wrong. Angle had a plan for Strowman, but he kept telling him that he wanted Kane. Angle gave in and booked Strowman vs. Kane in the main event…

The Miz, Curtis Axel, and Bo Dallas headed to the ring for Miz TV while Cole hyped the Baron Corbin vs. SIn Cara match for the U.S. Title on Smackdown. Miz tore down Corbin and said the “internet tough guy” losing his title before Survivor Series would be par for the course with him. Miz introduced Shemaus and Cesaro as his guests.

The New Raw Tag Champions boasted about their win and hyped their match against The Usos for Survivor Series. Fans chanted “you look stupid.” Miz cut them off with his “when my hand goes up” routine and ordered the fans to listen to their every word. The focus shifted to the six-man tag match with the trio facing The Shield later in the show. Miz said the happy reunion tour would end tonight…

[Q6] The broadcast team set up a Raw vs. Smackdown video package… Cole announced that New Day vs. The Shield was official for the pay-per-view… Cole also hyped Brock Lesnar’s reaction to AJ Styles winning the WWE Championship and facing him at Survivor Series… Graves hyped Kane vs. Strowman as the Raw main event… [C]

Powell’s POV: I’m surprised they are going with Kane vs. Strowman on television with zero hype. I wonder if it will serve as the setting for some type of Raw vs. Smackdown angle rather than end in a clean finish.

A John Cena social media post showed him squatting over 500 pounds…

3. Bray Wyatt vs. Jason Jordan. Jordan didn’t act afraid of Bray looking at him while bent over in the corner. Jordan took offensive control. Wyatt went to ringside. Jordan charged him, Wyatt moved, and Jordan crashed into the barricade heading into the break. [C]

[Q7] Wyatt performed a uranage at 6:30. The crowd came to life and Wyatt motioned for them to continue cheering when he went to the corner. Jordan caught him with a punch. Wyatt came back with a Sister Abigail attempt, but Jordan avoided it and rolled him up for the win.

Jason Jordan pinned Bray Wyatt in 7:15.

A giddy Angle and Stephanie were shown watching on a backstage monitor. Wyatt hit Jordan with a cheap shot after the match. Wyatt slammed the knee of Jordan into the ring post. Angle was shown looking terrified while watching on the monitor. The fans chanted “Thank you, Wyatt” loudly. Booker said the fans were not being too kind and he added that he doesn’t condone it. The fans sang the “goodbye” song as a ref helped Jordan from the ring… [C]

Powell’s POV: Wyatt returned with zero fanfare and lost to a guy the fans dislike. It was like Wyatt was never even gone. He received the same treatment that his brother Bo Dallas did when he returned. I would ask what happened to Sister Abigail, but I’m still willing to pretend like that disaster never happened if they are. Meanwhile, the crowd’s reaction to Jordan during and especially after the match says it all about his babyface run. Pull the plug on this and turn him heel. Of course, the question now is who will replace Jordan if this angle was designed to remove him from the Survivor Series match. Triple H? Chris Jericho? Shawn Michaels’s abs after they beat Johnny Gargano?

Backstage, Jordan assured Angle that he was fine. Angle said he needs him at 100 percent, not 80 or 90 percent. Jordan said this was his big break and he deserves it. “Dad?” Jordan asked…

WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman made their entrance for a promo. Fans started dueling chants of “AJ Styles” and “Suplex City” and Heyman let them go for a bit before introducing himself. Heyman said Lesnar authorized him to make five selling points on why fans should subscribe to WWE Network for Survivor Series. One, it’s the first time in history that Lesnar will step into the ring against Styles. Heyman said it may be the only time they enter the ring together. Two, Heyman wants to see Lesnar vs. Styles. “Speed kills,” Heyman said.

[Q8] Heyman was interrupted by a “she said yes” chant. The broadcast team pointed out that there was an engagement. Heyman said she only said yes because she hasn’t been with The Beast. “Interrupting my promo is like stepping into the ring with Brock Lesnar, you ain’t got a chance,” Heyman said.

Three, Styles is the single most talented in-ring performer of this generation. Heyman said some would say that is Finn Balor. He said he would let them fight it out (they just did), but Styles is the ultimate opponent for Lesnar from a stylistic standpoint. Four, Styles is the ultimate underdog. “This ain’t no frickin’ Rocky movie, this is Survivor Series.” Heyman went into Mick mode by saying that Styles can’t survive Lesnar.

Five, Heyman looks forward to pontificating on Styles putting on the performance of his life, yet beating conquered by Lesnar. Brock was actually shown shaking a couple of hands with fans at ringside after the segment concluded… Cole hyped the six-man tag match… [C]

Powell’s POV: Who the hell pops the question during a Heyman promo?!? Anyway, the promo didn’t really move me. I’d rather listen to Heyman mock the hell out of the underdog’s chances than put him over, but he and Lesnar are babyfaces these days so I understand the approach. Furthermore, I didn’t need to be moved or sold on the match since I was sold the moment it was set. This is going to be fun.

The Miz, Sheamus, and Cesaro were already in the ring. The Shield made their entrance through the crowd for the second time of the night. A security guard manhandled a fan who got by him and was standing behind the trio…

4. Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins vs. Sheamus, Cesaro, and The Miz (w/Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel). Axel is still wearing the neck brace to sell Strowman’s attack. The heels isolated Ambrose.

[Q9] The Shield took out Sheamus and Cesaro and went after Miz, who hid behind his minions. Ambrose hit Axel despite the brace. Miz fled through the crowd heading into a break. [C] The Miz was back after the break and got an immediate near fall on Rollins. Reigns took a hot tag and worked over the heels to cheers. He threw ten lousy clotheslines at Cesaro in the corner and ended up putting him down with a Samoan drop.

Reigns went to the corner and set up for his finisher, but Miz pulled at his leg. Ambrose took out Miz with a suicide dive, but Cesaro gave Reigns an uppercut. Cesaro followed up with a popup uppercut for a two count. Reigns went for a spear on Cesaro, but ate another punch. Reigns caught Cearo with a Superman Punch. Miz had tagged in and rolled up Reigns for a two count. Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds on Sheamus. Reigns speared Miz, who was left alone in the ring. The Shield trio hit their triple powerbomb on Miz and Reigns pinned him…

The Shield defeated The Miz, Sheamus, and Cesaro in 15:00.

Powell’s POV: The crowd was satisfied by the finish, but this felt more competitive than you’d expect from The Shield’s first televised reunion match. Perhaps this would have been a better spot for The Shield to beat Miz, Axel, and Dallas in short order. It didn’t help to have the trio make their entrance during the first hour and then do it again before this match. There wasn’t as much of a buzz in the crowd when they came out the second time around or during the opening minutes of the match.

The broadcast team narrated still shots and footage of Kane getting the better of Braun Strowman at WWE TLC and then placing him in the back of a garbage truck…

[Q10] Kane was shown standing backstage. He said that even someone as sick and depraved as him can smile. He said all he has to do is think of putting Strowman in the garbage truck. He said he can still remember the sounds of the truck crushing Strowman’s body… The broadcast team hyped Strowman vs. Kane “for the first time ever”… [C]

A sponsored ad focussed on the Trish Stratus vs. Lita match from December 2004…

Kurt Angle stood in the ring and recalled Stephanie McMahon talking about making touch decisions as a leader. He said this would be the toughest decision he’s had to make during his career. He said Jason Jordan was injured earlier by Bray Wyatt. Angle said he couldn’t allow Jordan to compete in the match and he decided to name a replacement.

Jordan limped onto the stage and pleaded with his storyline father not to take the match away from him. He said it was going to be the first time he fought side by side with his father. Angle said he couldn’t do it because he was injured. Jordan said he would be fine by Sunday. Angle said he needed Jordan to be 100 percent.

Jordan entered the ring and said Angle was injured when he won a gold medal. “I’m just like you, I can do this,” Jordan said. Angle said it’s not worth it. Jordan said it is worth it. Jordan said he emulated Angle his entire life and Angle was his idol. Jordan said that coming to Raw and competing on Angle’s show has been a dream come true for him. Jordan said Angle didn’t pick him out of favoritism, he picked him because he was the best option. Jordan begged Angle not to take the match from him. Angle nodded his head.

“Give me a break,” Stephanie said while walking onto the stage. “Kurt, tell me you are not considering this. Make the announcement now.” Triple H’s music played and he walked to the ring wearing a suit. Hunter entered the ring and took the mic from Angle. Hunter said that if Angle wouldn’t make the announcement then he would. “The fifth member of Team Raw is me,” Hunter said. The fans popped big. Hunter glared at Angle, then looked to Jordan, who was still pleading off-mic. Fans chanted Pedigree. Hunter obliged…

Powell’s POV: A nice final push for Survivor Series. Jordan showed decent emotion, but I can’t believe they had him include the line about how Survivor Series is the one time a year when Raw wrestlers face Smackdown as he was making his passionate plea. It wouldn’t have mattered anyways. The fans don’t like him. And even though Hunter just gave him the Pedigree, I still assume he ends up being a pawn of Hunter and Stephanie in some power struggle with Angle.

[Q11] [C] A recap of Triple H’s return was shown…

5. Finn Balor and Samoa Joe vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. The broadcast team spent time during ring entrances talking about the various Survivor Series matchup possibilities now that Triple H is in the match. They showed fans in the crowd holding up the “too sweet” sign just as Anderson and Gallows were doing as they made their entrance. Joe shoved Balor to the mat before the bell. Joe ran in and charged toward Balor, but ended up clotheslining Gallows instead. [C] The heel duo isolated Balor heading into another break.

[Q12] [C] Joe took a hot tag and worked over both heels. Joe tagged Balor into the match again. Joe performed a uranage on Anderson and then dove onto Gallows at ringside. Balor hit his finisher on Anderson and pinned him. Joe headed backstage immediately after the match…

Finn Balor and Samoa Joe beat Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson in 13:00.

Powell’s POV: I think this was supposed to feel like an internet dream match or something because of the four wrestlers involved. The sad thing is that it would have felt that way had they not run Anderson and Gallows into the ground all this time. Instead, it felt like a long filler match with the outcome not in question even though Balor and Joe don’t get along.

The broadcast team stood at their desk and hyped the Survivor Series match…

Backstage, Charly Caruso interviewed Alexa Bliss about facing either Natalya or Charlotte at Survivor Series. She said Smackdown became the B show when she moved to Raw. She teased showing up on Smackdown and watching the match live… Cole hyped Kane vs. Strowman for after the break… [C]

Graves hyped invited 205 Live viewers to celebrate Kalisto’s birthday. No shit, this is really a thing…

Powell’s POV: That “shit” was intentional. The one earlier about what Triple H was wearing (since corrected) was not. Doh!

[Overrun] Kane made his entrance. They showed the footage of Kane and Strowman from TLC again. Strowman made his entrance…

6. Braun Strowman vs. Kane never officially started. The referee stood between the two and for some odd reason never called for the bell. Kane smirked at Strowman and jawed at him before punching him. Strowman fired back. Kane bowed out to ringside. Strowman followed and caught him with an uppercut against the barricade. They continued to brawl at ringside. Cole said the bell never rang to start the match.

Kane pulled a table out from underneath the ring and then grabbed a chair. Kane struck Strowman over the back with the chair a couple times and then went for a choke, but Strowman powered out of it. Strowman picked up the chair and returned the favor. Strowman set up for a superplex on the table at ringside, but they fought on the ropes and Kane tumbled to the mat.

Strowman performed a running powerslam and both men went through the ring. They replayed the spot once and then the Raw logo appeared while both men were in the ring hole to close the show…

Powell’s POV: That was one strange brawl in that the referee had every chance to start the match, but he just stood there while Kane laughed and jawed at Strowman. You can’t blame the referee obviously, but what a strange way to start a brawl that was supposedly too out of control to be a match. The stunt at the end brought back memories of Taz and Bam Bam Bigelow going through the stage on ECW pay-per-view. It was a strange way to end the show in that it didn’t seem to have anything to do with Survivor Series. Was the goal simply to keep viewers watching in the third hour for the Triple H return? Overall, the show left me looking forward to Survivor Series. I will have more to say about Raw in my All Access audio review later tonight. Thanks for watching along with me.

Readers Comments (10)

  1. Sick of Stephanie’s tired act of emasculating men for her own agenda

  2. Amen to that. If they cared about ratings, they’d notice she’s killing them.

  3. “Triple H’s music played and he walked to the ring wearing a shit” – sounds about right lol

  4. “Triple H’s music played and he walked to the ring wearing a shit.”


  5. I’ve stopped watching wrestling for awhile, but the AJ Styles, Brock Lesnar match for me interested. Could do without the Jason Jordan angle. Too

  6. Steph has over stayed her welcome. emasculating men is boring..

    might be time for the roster do another walk out.. see if she can run a company with no wrestlers. lol

  7. Stephanie has made me stop watching. Now, she’s getting me close to stop reading reviews. She has GOT TO GO!!

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